Choose the Short Straw

I watched Valerie Bertinelli make manchego cheese and fig puff pastry straws on YouTube so I said to myself …why not?

If you have read other posts of mine using puff pastry you know while I have made it from scratch before, I prefer either Pepperidge or Trader Joe’s puff pastry. Pepperidge Farms puffs up 2 or 3x more Trader Joe’s so choosing which to use depends on what you are making. This time, I used Pepperidge Farms puff pastry.

This recipe resulted in a flavorful treat with a good snap, provided you bake them long enough. They are best warm so if you have them in more than one sitting, warm them up in an oven or toaster-oven. Be sure they are warm!

Oh! I also made a batch of blueberry drop scones for freezing for quick breakfasts

Manchego Cheese and Fig Straws


• All-purpose flour, for dusting
• 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
• 1 tablespoon fig jam
• 1 cup grated manchego cheese, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
• 1 large egg


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two 18-by-13-inch sheet pans with parchment paper.
  2. Dust a work surface lightly with flour. Roll out the puff pastry into a 14-by-12-inch rectangle. With the short side facing you, cut the dough in half horizontally: Measure 7 inches up the side, mark the dough and cut in half, using the mark as a guide.
  3. Evenly spread the fig jam over the bottom half of the dough, leaving a little room at the edges. Sprinkle 1 cup of the cheese over the jam. Top with the other half of the dough, pressing down lightly to adhere to the cheese and jam. With a pizza cutter, cut into 1/2-inch strips (about 24 strips).
  4. Twist each strip four or five times, then pinch the ends together to prevent unraveling while baking. Place the twists on the prepared baking sheets.
  5. Mix the egg with 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl and brush onto the twists. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons cheese.
  6. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before releasing the straws from the parchment with an offset spatula. Let cool completely.
  7. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 1 day.

Cheese and Jalapeño Bread Twists

I made some Olive Bread Sticks a few days ago which quickly disappeared. To follow up, I decided to design a recipe for Cheese and Jalapeño Bread Twists. I used a basic 80% hydration dough and Frances’s home made pickled jalapeños.

At the request of the QC Department, Manufacturing was tasked with making a few minus the jalapeños, which I, err… I mean they, did. Let me give you a bit of advice. If you make these bread twists, I strongly suggest having a glass of milk next to you after your second or third bite. If your peppers are anywhere near as hot as Frances’s (although she won’t think these are all that hot) you will be grateful for the advice. These are delicious. (Hot, but delicious.)

If you would like them for an appetizer or hors d’oeuvres cut them into little one inch pieces. Best if served warm.

Cheddar Jalapeños Cheese Twists

• 354g (1½ cups) warm water
• 2 Tbsp. sugar
• 1 Tbsp. yeast
• 437g (3½ cups) AP flour
• 1 tsp Salt
• 3 Tbl butter
• 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
• 1 cup finely diced pickled jalapeños
• 1 egg for wash
• Sea Salt


  1. Mix warm water, sugar and yeast together. Let that sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Add flour and salt to the water. Mix this until smooth and ferment for 10 min.
  3. Roll out the dough in a ~ 15 x 15” square on a floured surface.
  4. Brush the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle with cheddar cheese and diced jalapeños.
  5. Fold the dough in half. Cut the dough into one inch strips.
  6. Twist the one inch strips of dough and place on a cookie sheet.
  7. Cover with oil sprayed plastic wrap and proof for 30 min.
  8. Coat with egg wash and sprinkle with Sea Salt.
  9. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 min or until golden brown.